NHS childcare on target

The Government’s £70m childcare strategy is on track to ensure all NHS staff
have access to a childcare co-ordinator who can help them meet family needs.

Delegates at the NHS childcare conference, Beyond Workplace Nurseries, were
told last week that 124 co-ordinators have already been appointed at NHS
trusts, while another 50 are currently being recruited.

The Department of Health’s commitment to provide 150 on-site nurseries with
7,500 subsidised childcare places by 2004 is also within reach – there are now
120 schemes open or in the pipeline providing 5,200 places.

NHS HR director Andrew Foster predicted the childcare strategy would help
the health service meet its recruitment targets.

He said: "The challenge of balancing childcare responsibilities and
employment is often a source of considerable stress for parents.

"We are committed to improving the working lives of NHS staff by
providing high quality, value-for-money childcare. We need to ensure this
message is reaching potential recruits and returners."

For the first time, NHS staff can easily find details of their local
childcare co-ordinator by going straight to a central database, launched at the

Speaking to delegates, health minister John Hutton said: "The NHS
childcare strategy represents a key element in making the NHS a model employer
as well as enabling it to deliver its priorities over the next three


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